“ Address: The White Horse, Brancaster Staithe, Norfolk PE31 8BY / Telephone: 01485 210262 „
We have just got back from an amazing weekend in Brancaster Staithe and following a recommendation, decided to go for dinner at The White Horse on Saturday night. The White Horse is owned by Anglian Country Inns, who also run a brewery, the other pub in Brancaster Staithe (The Jolly Sailors), along with a pub and restaurant in our native Hertfordshire.
The White Horse is just off the main road going through the pretty fishing village of Brancaster Staithe. Situated on Norfolk's northern coast, the White Horse offers spectacular views across the marshes and out to sea, where many boats are moored. The Norfolk Coast Path, one of the National Trails which runs from Hunstanton to Cromer, goes past the pub so is an ideal stopping off point for anyone enjoying the Norfolk coastline. For the less energetic tourist, the pub also has a large car park.
The White Horse has 15 en-suite bedrooms but at a minimum price of £75 per person for a minimum of two nights (top price room, £110 per person), we decided against this, and splashed out on a nice meal instead.
There is a large beer garden at the front of the pub and a terrace at the back, so in the summer (and luckily for us, last weekend) a great place to sit out and enjoy the sunshine and the breathtaking views.
The restaurant and bar (which has a billiard table) have separate entrances. To access the restaurant you walk past the reception desk into a lovely open restaurant, which has is like a large conservatory with great views of the marshes. When we arrived we were asked if we would like to have a drink in the bar or the small seating area in the restaurant. Choosing the restaurant area, we enjoyed a drink whilst taking in the atmosphere and perusing the menu before we were seated at our table. The menu is great, with a large variety of locally sourced food, and there is an extensive wine list.
In the end we went for the complete seafood option - scallops to start, and then locally caught dressed crab and bream for the main course. There was also a basket of delicious bread on the table at no extra charge. The scallops were out of this world. The three scallops were served with cauliflower puree and deep fried black pudding - I could eat that every day! The main course swiftly followed and didn't disappoint. The crab was fresh and beautifully served with buttered new potatoes and a tomato and red onion salad. The bream came out on a bed of purple sprouting broccoli and a cauliflower and shrimp frittata, which was delicious and something I would like to try to make at home! We finished with the assiette of deserts between us, which included sticky toffee pudding, crème brulee, lime jelly and chocolate brownie.
Throughout the meal the service was impeccable. The food was all fresh, nicely served, and all of it absolutely delicious. For two people, two courses and a bottle of wine would set you back around £80 which I thought it was well worth every penny.
The pub has had some great press, featuring in many travel and food guides including Square Meal and Lonely Planet.
The 'Michelin eating out in pubs 2010' said 'With glorious views over the Brancaster Marshes and Scolt Head Island, a seat on the village pub's sunny back terrace or in the spacious rear conservatory is a must..........oft changing menus provide ample choice, with a seafood slant that takes in local Cromer crab, Brancaster oysters, mussels and fish from the boats at the end of the car park.'
The White Horse also serves breakfast from 9am-11am. Lunch is served 12pm-2pm, and dinner 6.30pm-9pm. If you find yourself in the local area and want an amazing meal, I would definitely recommend The White Horse. We left feeling very spoilt and thoroughly content and I will definitely be making a return journey to The White Horse in the not too distant future.